National team coach, Zdravko “Loga” Logarusic, has blamed the referee for Zimbabwe’s 1-0 loss to Ethiopia in the 2022 World Cup Group G qualifier played at the Bahir Dar Stadium on Tuesday.
The Warriors slipped to the bottom of Group G, after conceding a last-minute goal from the penalty spot.
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FC Torpedo Kutaisi defender Alec Mudimu was adjudged to have handled inside the penalty box by Seychelles referee, Bernard Camille.
30-year-old striker, Aschalew Tamene, put away the resultant spot-kick to break the resistance, which had been erected by the Warriors, the entire afternoon.
But speaking to journalists after the match, the underfire Croat, who has now won only one match out of fourteen as Warriors coach, argued Mudimu didn’t handle the ball and, in any event, the incident occurred outside the 18-yard box. Said Logarusic:
It was a difficult game and in the end, Ethiopia scored a goal, which they called a goal.
I couldn’t see exactly what happened but I think Alec Mudimu was outside the box and, secondly, I think the ball hit his shoulder.
And, thirdly, it was very difficult for us to understand, at first, he (the referee) said nothing but after five, six seconds he called it a penalty.
… We had our chances much earlier, to put the game on our side, then we missed our chances and at the end a very, very crucial decision from the referee killed us.
… After the game, I faced the referee and asked why we had played only one minute, yet they had indicated five then, after exchanging some words, he then disappeared.
Zimbabwe now sit on the bottom of Group G, with a single point picked from the opening home match against South Africa, last Friday.
Bafana Bafana top the standings, on four points, after two rounds of qualifiers, while Ghana and Ethiopia have three points each.